Fitness fanatics, exercise beginners, or those simply thinking about getting off the couch: Do you ever feel defined by your activity of choice?
The founders of Charlotte’s newest fitness venture, SweatNET, say it’s time to get out from under the labels that we’ve given ourselves — yogi, runner, cyclist, Crossfitter — and become one, well-rounded exercise community.
When SweatNET co-founders Erin Thomas and Grace Borchers met about a year ago, they asked themselves the questions: How can we bridge the gap in Charlotte and connect the fitness scene? How can we bring all that together to this one platform?
Their membership program launched in February and already has more than 1,000 Charlotte-area members. The goal of SweatNET is to encourage people to try new workouts at new studios.
“You can have your home studio, but then use this to supplement,” Thomas said.
For $9.95 a month, members get discounts at more than 100 participating health and wellness businesses, including fitness studios, juice bars, fitness-related apparel companies and even a local coffee shop. SweatNET also hosts 4-6 fitness events per month that are free for members and $20 for non-members.
Here’s how it works
Grab your membership from SweatNET’s site, then use their app to see available discounts at nearby places. Workout options range from boxing, to bootcamp, to yoga.
The amount of the discounts are only revealed to members, but Thomas said the members get their return on their monthly membership cost by using a discount about twice a month.
Seeing all the participating studios can help motivate someone to get out of their comfort zone; apparently, even the founders themselves.
“I’ve now done fitness classes on bungees, paddle boards, trampolines, in the park and in the dark,” Borchers said. “No matter where I go, each location is filled with simply amazing humans and communities that are willing and wanting to help you become healthy and happy.”
With new fitness studios, inevitably, come new friends.
“It’s awesome to see people tagging us on Instagram, saying ‘I tried out this new workout, thanks to SweatNET.’ It’s so cool to see them doing different these classes, or making new friends through SweatNET and going and working out with them,” Thomas said.
Sometimes, that means a lot of new friends. The SweatNET fitness events can attract around 150 people. June’s calendar includes a race through the city via bikes, a beer mile and a summer solstice celebration led by yoga teacher Jaimis Huff. Proceeds from the yoga event will benefit the #TimesUp legal defense fund, a cause Huff said is important to her, especially with the recent local news of sexual harassment in the yoga community.“It’s about community and connection. We’ll acknowledge it — keeping it moving forward.”
In SweatNET fashion, Huff said she would love to see plenty of non-yogis at the summer solstice event.
“SweatNET wanted to put on a big yoga event and I had this idea for a while to try to put on an event that’s not just a yoga class, it’s more about community and connection and movement. We’re all born with this innate ability to dance and move,” Huff said. “What if we do a yoga class that’s for people that have never done yoga before?”
As for continuing to build community across fitness options with SweatNET, Thomas said they are already considering expansion into other cities.
Photos courtesy of SweatNET